Drill: Change of Speed

Good basketball players separate themselves from others by being efficient with the dribble. Coaches love players that can attack the basket without over dribbling. Change of speed is the most basic (yet effective) way to beat a defender. It’s a crucial skill to have – especially for guards.

In this video, former NBA player and 2002 NCAA Championship winner Steve Blake, explains the basics of changing pace while dribbling. The key point here is to slow down while approaching the defender and exploding towards the rim at once. This way, you make it difficult for the defender to react and gain advantage against him.

(The best part about this skill and drill is that it’s easy for players to practice at home.)

Over-dribbling is a problem we often come across in youth basketball. Selfless, team basketball requires players to be efficient with the ball (i.e. to not “hog the ball”). In the half court players should try not to dribble more than 3 times before passing (or shooting).

Change of Speed

DESCRIPTION Put a cone (or a coach) at the top of the key. Players dribble towards the cone from half court at half speed, then changing speed and blowing by the cone to drive and finish with a layup. Remember to use both hands, and multiple crossover moves. For large groups, set up multiple cones around the gym.
SKILL FOCUS Ball Handling, Agility, Quickness, Speed
AGE (STAGE)  8+ (Learn-to-Train)
EQUIPMENT 1 basketball (per player)
1 cone (per group)
Top of the key is the perfect spot to place the cone as it allows young players to practice moves with both hands. Challenge older players by placing cones on the wing (free throw line extended) – players can start towards the baseline then crossover towards the middle to finish (and vice versa).

Tell us how you promote selfless basketball and what drills you love to run – leave us a message on comments below!

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